New Stats on Smartphone Consumer Preferences… Apple #1

Some recent published studies find that iPhone is preferred over Android.

ChangeWave said it surveyed 4,163 U.S. consumers and found that consumers, when asked which mobile OS they would prefer in the next smartphone they planned to purchase, favored Apple’s iOS by a significant amount.

About 48 percent of those surveyed said they actually plan to buy an Apple iPhone. The firm also showed that those that purchased an iOS device were the happiest with their purchase.

…..

Customers also expressed a strong preference for the iOS operating system in general over Android, according to the survey.About 46 percent of consumers said they would choose an iOS phone like the iPhone 4, versus 32 percent for Android and just 4 percent for RIM.

Another recent survey by Piper JAffray finds:

Nearly half of all Android and BlackBerry users plan to switch to an iPhone.


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Android May Yet Fade Away…

Android may yet fade away. As a platform it has several very large problems, all of which seem to be increasing as time goes by.

Android is under siege from Microsoft, Oracle and Apple (and others) who are aggressively attacking Android with patent infringement claims and licensing fees.  Google recently expressed concern about the patent infringement threat to Android’s future viability.

Android’s much vaunted openness is gone as Google exercises selective censorship over apps in Android Market.

Android’s claims of delivering a level playing field is also a thing of the past as Google exercises control over who gets access to Android and when.

Android’s golden promise as a “write-once works-everywhere” solution has never been realized and is a pipe-dream – fragmentation across service providers and vendor devices will rapidly surpass Blackberry’s self-created fragmentation.

Android as a consistent and intuitive user experience has yet to be realized. There is wide variability in launch pages and app behaviour… even for the most simple elements of phone, home, menu, hang up, search and return buttons. Android is not an intuitive user experience and is not consistent across Android vendors or even devices within vendors.

Android does not appear to be working out very well for app developers in general – according to Distimo (May 2011) around 20% of the free apps available in the Android Market have not achieved 100 downloads, and the majority (51.8%) of free applications have been downloaded less than 1,000 times to date. More significantly, 80% of all paid applications have failed to get more than 100 downloads.

Vendors selling Android phones are not seeing profits – or brand loyalty – according to recent reports.

Android does not have strong consumer support among those that have purchased an Android device.   Recent surveys find that among existing Android users – 42 percent planned to switch to an iPhone.  For consumers planning to purchase a new smartphone, about 48 percent of those surveyed said they actually plan to buy an Apple iPhone.

Android does not have strong corporate support.  iPad activations to Android Tablet activations were 30:1.

Android app discovery (i.e. finding apps) is a challenge, the Android Market is increasingly a garbage dump of poor quality apps and spam apps.

Android is not a secure platform and is the second most popular malware haven.  It is remarkably easy for users to compromise their smartphones by installing  malware apps or app add-ons. The platform itself has security holes that can expose personal data while accessing the web.  And Android is susceptible to phising and malvertising.  This is likely just the tip of the iceberg. Security is hard to get right…. that was and is one of RIM’s big strengths.

All of these problems for Android add up to a huge opportunity for HP WebOS, Microsoft Windows Phone 7 (and RIM QNX if they were to consider aggressively licensing it to other vendors)… to redefine the mobile playing field by attacking the many weaknesses of Android.

Smartphones reduce accessibility barriers by 45% (or more)

The economics of mobile smart phones and mobile service are reducing the financial barriers to access the Internet.    People who in the past might not otherwise be able to afford to access the Internet… will be able to.

Some quick numbers:

Mobilicity offers unlimited phone and data for $55/month, and an Android smartphone for $169 (or less).

Total: $829 for 1st year (ignoring taxes)

To get the cheapest Internet cable access package from Rogers costs $28/month. Install for cable is $50.  Phone service comparable to Mobilicity feature set is $60/month.  Install for phone service is $50. Bestbuy’s cheapest listed Netbook is $280 and cordless telephone is $70.

Total: $1,506 for 1st year (ignoring taxes)

The mobile smartphone option reduces the financial barrier to adoption/accessibility by approx 45% per year.

Smartphone, Tablet, Mobile Web and App Stats

Blackberry OS Stats:

http://us.blackberry.com/developers/choosingtargetos.jsp

Android OS Stats:

http://developer.android.com/resources/dashboard/platform-versions.html

iOS Stats:

http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2011/01/what-percentage-of-iphone-owners-are-on-ios4.php

App Store Metrics:

http://distimo.com/appstores

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/games-most-popular-mobile-app-category/

Apple App Store App Metric Details:

http://148apps.biz/app-store-metrics/

Android Market App Metric Details:

http://www.appbrain.com/stats/

Mobile Browser Stats:

http://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=9&qpcustom=iOS%2CAndroid&sample=38

Smartphone Marketshare:

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/apple-leads-smartphone-race-while-android-attracts-most-recent-customers/

Comscore

Smartphone Vendor Marketshare:

Comscore

Tablet Marketshare:

http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1626414

Smartphone Demographics:

http://www.intomobile.com/2011/02/01/amaerican-asians-hispanics-most-likely-to-own-smartphone/

http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Smartphones.aspx
Related Trends:

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/consumer/browse-all-about-it-the-evolution-of-the-circular/

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/in-us-smartphones-now-majority-of-new-cellphone-purchases/

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/average-u-s-smartphone-data-usage-up-89-as-cost-per-mb-goes-down-46/

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/NielsenMobileAppsWhitepaper.pdf

http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/latest-mobile-stats

UI/UX Design Patterns

Came across these links to UI/UX design patterns in a LinkedIn discussion thread – some good references for others that are interested in this sort of stuff:

 

Mind Mapping Tools and iPad – A Perfect Fit

I am a big fan of mind mapping tools.   My favorite tool has traditionally been Freemind, a free tool that works across Windows and Mac.   I recently changed over to using XMind and have been exploring mind mapping tools on the iPad.

Mind mapping is one application that seems to be exceptionally well matched to the “touch” environment of the iPad.  Adding nodes, moving around relationships, arranging the mind map graph display … are all much easier to do using “touch” then the mouse.   Two mind mapping applications currently available on the iPad are:

The most promising of the two is iToughts HD.   The features that set it apart from Mindnode include:

  • Dropbox saving/importing for mind map files
  • Ability to collapse child nodes
  • Version recovery
  • Ability to assign icons to nodes

Found another “touch” mind mapping tool?  Let me know!

GUI Mockup Tools Part 2

Two new mockup/wireframe design apps are now available for the iPad that are worth taking a look at:

My initial impression is that iMockups is the better of the two at the moment… but since I just started to play with them I will reserve judgement for a few weeks.

In general I find that doing a wireframe mockup on the iPad is a more fluid experience then using computer-based tools… it is going to be interesting to see how apps like this develop over time.